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New media at the 2012 Olympics

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World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

New media at the 2012 Olympics

An event involving 205 nations, 15,000 athletes, 20,000 media representatives, 70,00 volunteers, 11 million tickets and 170 venues provides a significant challenge in terms of communication, Balfour stressed. Since the last Olympic games, the communication landscape has changed dramatically, with broadband having overtaken dial-up, 3G access being everywhere, and social media now widely used. 

The games committee in London has a website called London 2012 where people can register to follow activity. So far 4.3million people have registered, but Balfour expects a huge uptake as the event draws nearer. The main site will have descriptions of all the games, biographies of all the athletes, and of course scheduling. There will be photos from Getty, the official photographer, but no video, as the official broadcasters have exclusive rights to that.

The committee will also launch two apps: one called Join In, that will track the torch relay and provide information about cultural events, the other a Results app, which will display real time results.

Social media clearly provides an opportunity for engagement and Balfour said that the organizing committee encourages people to share via social media, as long as they do not share video. “What will be new for an event of this scale is that athletes will be active on social media,” he continued. “It will be fascinating because it will give people insight into the athletes.”

The main Twitter account run by the Olympics team is @London2012, and they try to spur interaction by asking people who their favourite athletes are, for example.

The committee will “actively monitor social networks” to assess what people are talking about, and where problems are occurring, but will take action via its operations or communications teams if necessary, rather than responding to individuals. 


Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman


2012-04-19 17:17

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